Red Hat unveils three new open-source projects

Projects focus on SOA infrastructure components that will become enterprise software

Red Hat Thursday said its JBoss Enterprise SOA Platform would be available later this month and introduced three new open source projects designed to infuse transaction, management and other capabilities into its middleware software lineup.

The announcements come a day after Red Hat laid out its seven-year goal to own 50% of middleware deployments using JBoss to anchor platforms for portals, SOA, and application servers and services.

Red Hat said its open source SOA platform would incorporate innovation derived from an array of open source projects offered on JBoss.org, three of which were introduced Thursday.

The three projects are Black Tie, which will create a transaction engine to integrate or replace legacy transaction monitors, specifically Tuxedo, with the JBoss.org Transactions project, JBoss DNA, a registry for network services and RHQ, an SOA management platform that will eventually support both JBoss and Fedora platforms.

The SOA Platform already incorporates components that started out as open source projects, including JBoss ESB, JBoss jBPM and JBoss Rules.

ESB provides application and service integration, mediation, transformation and registry technology; jBPM adds service orchestration and workflow; while Rules includes management and integration of business policy and rules, as well as, content-based routing that relies on rules.

Red Hat is following the same model it has for its Linux OS development. Court innovation among the vast Fedora open source project community and then tap the results for inclusion in Red Hat Enterprise Linux where it can be stabilized and supported.

"We want to be disruptive with our innovation, but not disruptive in production" environments, said Sacha Labourey, vice president of engineering middleware for Red Hat.

The SOA platform is designed to provide infrastructure to support SOAs, and application and business-process integration. The platform combines enterprise application integration, business process and rule management and event-driven architecture technologies. Red Hat officials say the platform is architected to support users involved in small-scale integration projects to full-blown SOA infrastructure deployments.

Red Hat has taken on a number of partners to complement its efforts, including Active Endpoints, Amberpoint, SeeWhy, SOA Software, Vitria Technology, Information Builders and iWay Software.

Red Hat said its Black Tie project would kick off in 60 days. The JBoss DNA project, the first in a series of SOA governance projects, is slated to begin in 30 days with more projects to be announced in 60 days.The RHQ project is already up and running.

Craig Muzilla, vice president of the middleware business unit, said it was hard to say when commercial products would spring from the projects, but he said users could look for results by year-end.

BlackTie will add C, C++ and mainframe compatible transaction capabilities to the JBoss.org Transactions project. The project will focus on emulating transaction-processing monitor application programming interfaces, and providing open source based legacy services that include security, naming, clustering and transactions.

Red Hat said the project would support the ATMI programming interface to ease migrations. The Black Tie project is derived from technology from Ajuna, which JBoss acquired in 2005 before being bought by Red Hat.

With its governance project, Red Hat hopes to set the tone for open source SOA management. JBoss DNA, a meta-data repository and UDDI registry, is the kick-off project for what will be a number of management components, according to Muzilla.

The project is based on technology Red Hat acquired when it bought MetaMetrix in April 2007.

Red Hat also unveiled it RHQ management project, which it said would serve as the code base for the JBoss Operations Network v2.0, which is due to ship in the first half of this year. The Operations Network is the management foundation for Red Hat's middleware strategy. The RHQ project aims to develop a common services management platform.

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